How Big Do Blue Tongue Skinks Get? (Size Chart)

Blue tongue skinks are beautiful creatures, with a scale pattern that looks like it’s been carefully painted on by nature’s finest artists. They are quite sturdy and robust reptiles, with strong, short legs and a long body – typically measuring up to 24 inches when fully grown.

In this post, we’ll delve deeper into understanding how big these amazing creatures can get and how their size may vary across different species. So, stay tuned!

The Growth of Blue Tongue Skinks

Blue tongue skinks are among the largest of the skink family. Once hatched, these little fellas can be about 4-5 inches long but don’t let their small size fool you. They grow rather rapidly, especially in their first year of life, gaining length and weight steadily until they reach maturity around two to three years of age.

The size of a fully grown blue tongue skink can range from 18 to 24 inches depending on the species, with some exceptional individuals even reaching the 30-inch mark! Can you imagine a skink almost as long as a yardstick? I’ve seen it, and let me tell you, it’s quite a sight!

Factors Influencing Growth

Much like us, several factors can affect a skink’s growth. Let’s touch on a few.

1. Diet

An appropriate diet is essential for healthy growth. As omnivores, blue tongue skinks need a balance of plant-based and animal-based food. My skinks have a fondness for snails, and it’s a protein-rich treat that helps them grow. But remember, balance is key. Too much protein can lead to health issues, just as too little can stunt growth.

2. Genetics

Just as some of us are taller or shorter than others, blue tongue skinks also have genetic variances that can influence their size. You might find that two skinks, even from the same parents, can grow to different sizes!

3. Environment

Adequate UV lighting, temperature gradients, and enough space to roam can all significantly impact a skink’s growth. In my experience, a stressed skink in a cramped or cold habitat just won’t grow as well as one in a comfy, spacious vivarium with perfect temperatures.

Blue Tongue Skink Growth Chart

As a passionate Blue Tongue Skink owner, I’ve observed and monitored their growth, marveling at each stage. Let me share this information in a structured way to help you understand their growth pattern better.

AgeSize (inches)Weight (grams)
3 Months7-1250-70
6 Months12-15100-200
1 Year15-18300-500

Note: These figures are averages and can vary based on species, diet, and overall health.

Just as kids sprout up before your eyes, these scaly friends can also show a surprising rate of growth. Skinks are born tiny – just 2-4 inches long! However, within the first year, they can reach up to 18 inches in length, about the same as a violin! In terms of weight, an adult skink can be as heavy as a full can of soda.

Comparison of Blue Tongue Skink Species and Subspecies

Differences in size become evident when you compare the different species and subspecies. Here’s a table highlighting the average adult sizes of various Australian and Indonesian Blue Tongue Skinks:

You’ll notice that the Northern and Indonesian Blue Tongue Skinks often grow a bit larger than their Australian counterparts, making them the Goliaths of the Skink world!

Species/SubspeciesSize (inches)
Eastern Blue Tongue (Australian)18-22
Northern Blue Tongue (Australian)22-24
Western Blue Tongue (Australian)18-20
Centralian Blue Tongue (Australian)16-18
Blotched Blue Tongue (Australian)16-18
Indonesian Blue Tongue22-24
Tanimbar Island Blue Tongue (Indonesian)20-22
Kei Island Blue Tongue (Indonesian)15-17

Australian Blue Tongue Skink Species Size and Growth

Let’s kick things off Down Under, where six of the eight blue tongue skink species can be found. These captivating creatures vary not just in coloration but also in size. So, let’s unpack this, shall we?

  1. Eastern Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides): Our friendly Aussie neighbours can grow up to a sizable 20 inches (50cm) long! Now that’s what I call a big pet.
  2. Northern Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia): Their slightly larger cousins, these northern beauties can reach up to 24 inches (60cm). Trust me, they’re quite the sight when fully grown!
  3. Western Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua occipitalis): A bit on the smaller side, these guys top out at around 18 inches (45cm).
  4. Blotched Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua nigrolutea): You might guess from their name that they’re beautifully patterned, but did you know they can grow up to 24 inches (60cm) long?
  5. Centralian Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua multifasciata): One of the rarest, they also reach around 18 inches (45cm) in length.
  6. Shingleback or Bobtail Skink (Tiliqua rugosa): These unique skinks have short, stubby tails and reach lengths of about 16 inches (40cm).

Indonesian Blue Tongue Skink Species Size and Growth

Now, let’s hop over to Indonesia, where the climate differs significantly from Australia, and so do the skinks!

  1. Tanimbar Island Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua scincoides chimaerea): Smaller than their Australian cousins, these skinks grow to be about 20 inches (50cm).
  2. Indonesian Blue Tongue Skink or Irian Jaya (Tiliqua sp): They typically grow to around 22 inches (55cm) in length. They have a lovely dark brown coloration with lighter stripes, making them a visual delight.

These sizes are rough averages. Some skinks might outgrow these measurements, while others might stay a bit smaller. Genetics, nutrition, and overall health play a massive role in their growth.

Comparison Of Blue Tongue Skink With Other Reptiles

Pet ReptileAverage Adult SizeComparison with Blue Tongue Skinks
Bearded Dragon18-24 inchesSimilar size; requires spacious enclosure and precise temperature management
Leopard Gecko8-10 inchesSmaller; easier to handle for beginners, requires less space
Corn Snake2-5 feetMuch larger and longer; requires different care due to slender body shape
Blue Tongue Skink18-24 inchesModerate size; interactive and engaging, yet manageable to house and handle

First up, we have the bearded dragons. Bearded dragons typically reach lengths of 18 to 24 inches, making them comparable to our beloved Blue Tongue Skinks. But here’s where size really matters – larger reptiles like these require a spacious enclosure, good temperature management, and plenty of care, which certainly adds to the excitement of being a pet parent!

On the smaller side, we have leopard geckos. These little fellows generally grow to be about 8 to 10 inches in length. While they might not have the impressive size of a Blue Tongue Skink, their smaller stature makes them slightly easier to handle, especially for those new to reptile care.

Now let’s compare our skinks to another familiar face: the corn snake. Adult corn snakes usually reach lengths of about 2-5 feet. Yes, you read that right! These slithering friends outsize our skinks by quite a bit. That said, a snake’s long, slender body carries different care requirements from our stout and sturdy skinks.

So what makes the size of our Blue Tongue Skinks special? Well, I believe their size offers a unique balance in the reptile world. They are large enough to be interactive and engaging pets, yet not so large that they are overly challenging to house or handle. They’re just right for someone who wants a pet reptile that’s a bit more robust than a small gecko but more manageable than a large snake.

How To Ensure Healthy Growth in Blue Tongue Skinks?

Healthy growth in blue tongue skinks is a combination of various factors – diet, living environment, and loving care – that all contribute to the optimal growth and wellbeing of these unique pets.

1. Diet

When it comes to diet, Blue Tongue Skinks are omnivorous, which means they eat a mix of plants and meat. They require a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources like insects, snails, and even wet dog food. Did you know that about 50% of their diet should consist of greens? Yes, that’s right! A healthy skink is a well-fed skink, so make sure you provide them with a variety of food to keep them happy and healthy. After all, a balanced diet is critical to their growth and overall health.

2. Environment

Now let’s move on to the living environment. You see, these creatures are natives of Australia and Indonesia, so they are used to a specific set of environmental conditions. A suitable temperature for your skink would be a basking area of around 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a cooler area around 75 to 80 degrees.

You also want to maintain a humidity level of about 40% to 60%. Proper lighting, especially UVB light, is also crucial as it helps them absorb calcium, a mineral essential for their growth and bone health.

3. General Care

In terms of care, consistency is key. Regular feeding schedules, gentle handling, and routine vet check-ups are some of the factors that contribute to the healthy growth of your skink. Remember, they are pretty much like our babies, needing love, attention, and care.

How long does it take for a blue tongue skink to reach full size?

Blue tongue skinks generally take about two to three years to reach their full size. However, like any creature, their growth can depend on several factors, including their diet, overall health, and genetic factors. Proper care and a balanced diet can ensure they grow at a healthy pace.

Are Male or Female Blue Tongue Skinks Bigger?

Great question! In general, male and female blue tongue skinks are quite similar in size. However, males can often be slightly larger and have bulkier heads than their female counterparts. But this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, as individual variations can occur. You’ll find that each skink, male or female, has its own unique charm and personality!

How Big Are Baby Blue Tongue Skinks?

A baby blue tongue skink, also known as a ‘joey’, is typically around 5 to 6 inches long at birth. They’re surprisingly large for newborns compared to many other reptile species. Remember, they’re born ready to explore the world, so make sure their habitat is baby-proof!

Can A Small Tank Stunt The Growth Of Blue Tongue Skinks?

Interestingly, the size of a tank can influence a blue tongue skink’s growth and overall health. If a tank is too small, it can limit their movement and activity levels, potentially leading to health problems, including obesity. However, it’s not proven that a small tank will directly stunt their growth. What’s most important is to provide a habitat that mimics their natural environment as closely as possible, with plenty of space for them to roam around, burrow, and bask.

Do Blue Tongue Skinks Grow Bigger In Captivity or The Wild?

Generally, the size difference between captive and wild blue tongue skinks isn’t significant, with captive skinks sometimes growing slightly larger due to consistent access to food and medical care. However, it’s worth noting that a healthy diet and good care are essential for their growth, whether in the wild or in captivity.

What Is The Biggest a Blue Tongue Skink Could Get?

The size of the blue-tongue skink differs from one species to another. The species with the biggest size hits the size chart at around 25-30 inches. This species named Merauke Blue-Tongue Skink is one of the most expensive and challenging to get your hand on it.
The blue-skink usually found in the pet stores is the Northern Blue-Tongue Skink, which grows up to 25 inches in length. These skinks will grow to the maximum size and optimal health by providing a healthy diet and proper nutrition.


The blue-tongue skink is a unique reptile with a blue tongue that can be a great reptile pet for its friendly and accommodating nature. If you’re planning to get a blue-tongue skink, you must know how big this reptile could get.

This reptile is relatively larger as compared to other reptiles and can get up to two feet long. So, if you are planning to get one, ensure to have enough space, hydration, heat and lighting arrangement for this reptile.

Finally, keeping reptile pets is amazing as they are a friendly company. Yet, do not forget to keep their health and growth in mind to have a better relationship with your pet.

Filled under: Lizards

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